Tonight marks the 2nd time in that last year that Shawn Ryan created show, which is better than majority of the programming on Television, will be canceled after only a season on the air. The first was of course Terriers, which was one of my favorite shows ever. The next now is The Chicago Code. Tonight was the last episode of the rookie season for the show, and it will in all likely hood be the last episode ever. Unless however it’s gets a rare cable pickup, the way TNT did with NBC’s Southland, . That however is a ‘Hail Mary’ pass thrown up several times a year that almost never gets caught.
Leading into the finale we are left with several loose ends from last week. Will Liam/Officer Collier survive? Who killed Jarek’s brother? Can Colvin make as case against Gibbons before the Mayor cans her? Well tonight, those will all be answered.
So first off, Undercover Officer Chris Collier awakens in the hospital and he remembers everything. This, combined with Hugh Killian’s testimony should be enough to put Gibbons away for a long time. Knowing he is in trouble, Gibbons starts getting desperate. He tells Jarek that Killian was responsible for the death of Vincent Wysocki 15 years earlier. This leads Jarek to investigate the claims only to learn that Killian is innocent of the accusation, and his brother was dirty. A revelation that sends ripples throughout the entire investigation.
Teressa Colvin has enough problems without Jarek running wild and endangering her case when the Mayor calls her intovhiw office. He, as usual, has her chopping block ready. The only hope to save her job now lays in her ability to convict Gibbons.
Enter Lilly – the Alderman’s assistant. She is hopelessly devoted to her boss and unable to see the man that Gibbons truly is. Colvin thinks that Lilly might be the piece that secures her the conviction, but it turns out quite the opposite. As Killian is transfered to the courthouse to deliver his statement to the Grand Jury, Lilly ends his trip early. She executes Killian right in the face of Colvin, Wysocki, and the bunch. Preaching that Gibbons is righteous and impervious to persecution.
This puts a major crimp in the case and they are then forced to look elsewhere for proof. Elsewhere means Killian’s daughter, the same one who shot Collier and put him in the ER. With Collier’s
blessing insistence she be cut a deal to secure Gibbons’ conviction, they offer her the same deal they gave her father. This allows Colvin the chance to publicly handcuff Gibbons at the city council meeting just as he is trying to discredit her. Gibbons ends up in jail and all is right with the world as we are given a satisfying conclusion.
So, why did this show get canceled? Well Shawn Ryan has some ideas. He talked to TV Squad:
“One thing that [Fox entertainment president] Kevin [Reilly] said, and I think it’s accurate — he said, ‘For some reason, the show just didn’t, from the beginning, just generate any kind of controversy or must-see appeal,” Ryan noted near the start of our conversation. “It just never became a newsworthy kind of show.”
I should also note that Ryan did not sound downbeat during the chat. Clearly he would have liked for ‘Code’ to get another chance, but he noted, “In the grand scale of pitfalls in life, this is not that huge a one. I’m very aware of what the country is going through and how lucky I am in my life that I get to do what I do. …I don’t feel bad for myself. I feel bad for the cast members, because I think this business eats up actors quicker than it eats up writers. …I feel bad for the crew members in Chicago.”
I suppose Ryan is now getting use to his shows getting canned, while garbage stays on the air. He went on to talk about the difficulty of serialized shows surviving in a world where American Idol rules.
“Mass audiences do show up for ‘American Idol,’ they do show up for ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ they do show up now for ‘The Voice.’ There seems to be a preference, which I hope is temporary, for that kind of stuff,”
Continuing on he said he thought that the show might have been too complex to grab viewers right away, and he’ll be taking a break from cop shows for a while. You can listen to the whole interview at the link above.
Personally I thought The Chicago Code was one of the best ‘Cop Shows’ on, behind only Justified and Southland. In a TV landscape filled with one and done type of episodes, having one season long storyline might be too much for a network audience. The Killing for example I don’t think would work on FOX, but has been a huge success for AMC.
All I know is the next time Shawn Ryan has a show out, I will once again be watching and hoping to avoid yet another ‘Cancellation Countdown’.
Images: FX, Fox